Archive for January, 2008

A Nice Mention by Marc Ambinder

Thursday, January 24th, 2008

Very generous of Marc Ambinder to plug the Fred Malek blog in his blog at Atlantic.com

Here’s what Marc had to say: “Fred Malek Has A Blog. The gentleman is one of the biggest donors in the Republican Party, a behind-the-scenes-poo-bah, a major venture capitalist, a Vietnam veteran, and an opinion leader whose thoughts are worth reading.
I’ll make sure to keep reading Marc’s blog to find out what’s really happening in politics.  I guess he joins others in shock that I enjoy blogging and actually know how to do it

Hotel Industry Opportunities Abound

Tuesday, January 15th, 2008

Interesting article in today’s Washington Post business section about Robert Johnson raising $1.2 billion for his third private-equity fund that invests in the hotel industry.

The Post ran my thoughts on what’s happening these days in the hotel industry:

Fred Malek, co-chairman of Thayer Lodging, a private-equity fund that buys and manages hotels, said now is a good time for hotel deals.

“This should be an excellent time to acquire hotels because values are coming down somewhat, some owners do not have the financial capability to upgrade their hotels to meet consumer demands and brand standards, and thus, they will be forced to consider sale,” he said.

I was also thrilled to see my wife quoted in today’s Style section – the story about Debbie Dingell’s efforts to make Michigan a prominent political player in choosing our president.  Here’s what the article said:

“She’s very involved in Michigan,” says her Republican friend Marlene Malek, with whom Dingell holds an annual bipartisan, women-only lunch during the December holiday season. “She’s always there. She’s always doing something political and not political. She has a whole other life out there.”

By the way, if you’re curious about that lunch Marlene holds with Debbie Dingell, here’s a nice write-up that appeared in the Politico’s “Shenanigans” column last month:

Wonder women

All spotted sitting at the same table during lobbyist extraordinaire Debbie Dingell and D.C. socialite/philanthropist Marlene Malek’s all ladies lunch today at the Four Seasons, hosting 300 of D.C.’s high powered ladies: Romney spokeswoman Barbara Comstock, Fred Thompson advisor Mary Matalin, wife of Sam Donaldson, Jan Smith, Tammy Haddad of Haddad Media, former head of the RIAA Hilary Rosen, MSNBC host Norah O’Donnell, lawyer and wife of Howard Fineman Amy Nathan and “Meet the Press” executive producer Betsy Fischer. Topics of conversation? Not so much politics as…Hannah Montana tickets. Also in the room of wonder women? Lynda Carter.

John McCain Wins New Hampshire

Wednesday, January 9th, 2008

I just got back from campaigning for John McCain in New Hampshire. Here’s a fun account of McCain’s victory in today’s Washington Post:

John McCain’s bus just pulled into a polling place on Broad Street, and McCain dived into the media scrum and disappeared from sight. It is possible that he was devoured by camera people; later I’ll look for the bones.

Off to the side stood a white-haired gentleman holding a “McCain” placard. But this was no ordinary volunteer — it was Fred Malek, the big-cheese Republican (and would-be Washington Nationals owner). He said he’s co-chairman of McCain’s campaign. “Chairman” is often a somewhat honorary title in a presidential operation.

“I finally found my proper role in the campaign — sign carrier,” Malek said. His wife, Marlene, was on sign duty, as well. “I’d do anything for John McCain,” she said.

Mr. Malek predicted a McCain win today and huge momentum.

“He doesn’t have to win Michigan” — Mitt Romney has a native-state advantage there — “but I think he will. You can’t underestimate the momentum that’s going to be generated by a victory here.”

Does McCain have enough money to compete in the large states?

“It’s picking up. Nothing like a little success to open the money faucets.”

John McCain Will Win New Hampshire — And The Presidency

Monday, January 7th, 2008

As Director of the 1988 Republican Convention, my main challenge was to develop a four night program that would bring Vice President George H.W. Bush back from a 17-point deficit to Michael Dukakis in the Presidential polls. President Reagan agreed to highlight the first night with a speech focused on the foreign policy successes of the Reagan-Bush Presidency. After all, we had just won the Cold War. However, I also had to select someone to precede President Reagan with a prime time address – someone who shared his unspeakable principles and who had credibility on foreign policy. I selected the junior senator from Arizona, John McCain. He delivered an outstanding address and started the Bush-path to ultimate victory. I believed then as I do now that McCain, more than any other political leader of either party, not only shared the Reagan principles but also mirrored his strong character and conviction as well as the political courage to consistently choose the right course of action for America, no matter the political price.

John McCain is the heir to the Reagan legacy, and just as Reagan came back from an Iowa loss to become the nominee and President, so will John McCain. He will win the New Hampshire primary tomorrow because the voters of the Granite State know that this man of principle, courage, consistency, character, and national security excellence stands above all other candidates and will be a superb President. They also know he is the most likely to beat any of the possible Democrat nominees. These same characteristics will motivate voters in Michigan, South Carolina, and the February 5 states. John McCain will be the nominee, he will be President.

2008: Forecasting The Hotel Industry And Private Equity Opportunities

Wednesday, January 2nd, 2008

The Washington Post business section has two stories I’m quoted in.

One is about the business side of hotels — a year-in-review and look ahead. Here’s an excerpt.

Now revenue per available room at Marriott and Host will probably grow 5 to 7 percent, according to the companies and analysts, as a weakening economy cools spending and growth. Marriott officials stress such gains would still beat inflation. …

“You will have an abatement of the really large increases, but you are still going to have increases, so that’s good,” said Fred Malek, the co-chairman of Thayer Lodging, which owns several Marriott hotels, including one in Annapolis.

The other article is about private equity and the credit crunch:

“The days of easy money — buying something with a lot of leverage and flipping it in 18 months — are over,” said Frederick Malek, founder of Thayer Capital, a private-equity firm in the District.

There is still good money to be made in private equity through purchases at more prudent values, more conservative leverage, and building market share and profits over time. This is the old fashioned way that we have always embraced and is bases on the time proven premise that if you can improve a company’s performance, you can earn a good return.

Both articles are worth the whole read.  And here’s the photo the Post ran:

Fred Malek Thayer Washington Post